I always thought I had the best of both worlds: I could drink (and eat) as much as I wanted to and then run it off the next day. Since the age of 19, I've run hundreds of races ranging from 5k to full marathon. But it always bothered me when people would say, "You always run so much, so why aren't you as skinny as a twig?" I looked fine, but they were right. I didn't look "like a runner." And I sure didn't act "like a runner." I drank too much, and I was hungover most days out of the week. I was using running as a way to soothe my hangovers. But after about 25 years of this same-old, same-old, that shit finally got ...OLD. If it's gotten old for you, too, read on, my friend. Running is hard, but we don't have to make it even harder for ourselves than it already is by running hungover and dehydrated.
When I quit drinking, I actually started to ENJOY running again. Without a pounding headache and nauseous stomach to slow me down, I started going faster, farther, and with less effort. I started sleeping better, and eating healthier, which led me to actually shedding a few extra pounds. I started to notice the beautiful scenery around me, and stopped to talk to familiar faces along the way. My entire mood lifted (hello, endorphins, I can feel you, now!), and I started to see running as more of a treat rather than a punishment for what I drank the night before. I also had extra money in my bank account (from no longer buying all the wine) that I could spend on race entries!
But then I started to wonder, "where are all the other sober runners at?"
I knew there were more people like me out there, and I wanted to find them. Like, I REALLY wanted to find them! It started off slowly in January 2021, with just a handful of my friends who I asked to join Recovery Road Runners to get the group started. And here we are, 9 months into the journey of RRR and with over 500 people in the Facebook group. I think I've found what I was looking for: a group of sober runners who GETS IT! RRR has become an amazingly supportive, inspiring, friendly, and welcoming group. We now train together, talk on the phone and text, share photos, meet up for video chats throughout the week, celebrate the races we've completed, and we share our sobriety milestones together (chip night!). RRR is a sober running family, and I hope that you'll join us if you haven't already. Because the best part about it is the connection with like-minded folks, just like you, just like me. :)
About the Author
Amber Cano is the founder of Recovery Road Runners, a community for athletes committed to recovery from alcohol and other addictions.